Friday, October 27, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt was born on his day in 1858.  The larger-than-life twenty-seventh president was an important figure in the early twentieth century.  He inspired great affection as well as enmity as he expanded the power of his office and enhanced the role of the United States in world affairs. 

The countless biographies written about TR show a man in a hurry as he accomplished a great deal in politics and other arenas before he assumed the presidency at the age of forty-two.  Of all the presidents, he was by far the most prolific writer. 

But he became restless when he left public life at an early age.  His efforts to regain a prominent role in American life began with his failed attempt at recapturing the presidency through a quixotic third-party effort in 1912.  By the time he died seven years later he had become increasingly petty and worn, especially after the death of his youngest son in combat. 

Theodore Roosevelt crowded a lot of living and accomplishment in sixty years.  As most strong leaders are, he was a complex figure.  But he left an important legacy, including an aggressive Progressive Party agenda which essentially was consummated by his relative Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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